Family and friends!
I hope everything is good and well with you all. From your emails sounds like thanksgiving was good in each of the places you were. Kind of sad that grandma and grandpa are getting old and aren’t able to do all that they used to, but as is the life. But really, thanks for the email it was good to hear from you all. I also have to apologize for not being able to write last week, it was just a bit crazy and really busy, and I am also writing you all today because my p-day has changed, but I will explain all of that.
Well, to start off, MY REPLACEMENT HAS COME TO THE OFFICE!!!!!! Yes after almost 8 months I will be leaving the office at the end of this change to go back out to the field. I’m pretty excited and a little bit nervous, but just happy with all the changes. So my replacement is Elder Amundsen, from Houston, Texas. He has about 7 months in the mission and he is a really cool guy. He is a smart kid and went to BYU last year before coming out on the mission. There is some room for improvement on his Spanish, but he is learning everything really fast and doesn’t have fear to do anything that I tell him to do or to talk to anyone, so he will make a very good financial secretary. So for the next few weeks I will be here in the office training him and teaching him how to do everything we do in our work, and we are also companions for working in the field as well. Elder Amundsen is very pilas because in his last area he baptized several families, so I have actually learned a little bit from him believe it or not on how to work better in the field. But overall, I am just super stoked to be leaving the office and focus 100% on missionary work for these next final months of my mission! Oh and Elder Anderson, the elder who was the financial secretary before me and trained me, went home this past change, so I have a picture with him and Elder Amundsen that’s pretty cool that represents the past year and a half of financial secretary legacy haha.
So with the changes that happened last week and everything, we had the welcome dinner with the new missionaries that just came into the field, but since it was thanksgiving, Hermana Ruiz surprised everyone by cooking a gigantic thanksgiving meal (with help of the American senior couple) with turkey and everything! It was absolutely amazing and to be honest probably the best meal I’ve had in Guatemala. But anyway, that’s how I was able to celebrate my thanksgiving.
The sad part about this email is that I don’t really remember what happened the rest of the week, all that I remember is that I’ve been busy working with and training Elder Amundsen in all the things that the financial secretary does. I didn’t realize how much stuff we actually do, and its taking me awhile to explain and help him understand everything, but he is a fast learner and it’s been going well. It feels so good not to have a phone on me with people always calling me about money problems and constantly asking me for money, I feel like a new man almost haha!
So, since I have been able to take a little bit of a break of all of my usual duties of financial secretary, I have been able to think and focus more on my studies and working in the field and really learning how to be a district leader. A big thing I have felt this past week is the need to have gratitude and to serve others. As missionaries we are always asking people if we can serve them or help them out with something and for some reason not a lot of people really accept, but this past Elder Amundsen and I had the opportunity to go and help a sister in the ward clean up her front yard which in Guatemala means using a machete to cut jungle grass and cut down banana tree plant things and use a broom to sweep up dirt. Yes we swept up dirt outside… but really it was a fun opportunity to just go out and serve people. Our area and out ward has a lot of problems, but this week Elder Amundsen and I have just really focused on offering our services to people especially the ward members to gain more of their trust, and we have already seen some results. A lot more of the members are a lot more willing to give us references and talk with us more and leave to go work. It’s been really good. As I said before, I have been focusing on trying to work better in our area, and to be honest I have felt a little inadequate. During my time in the office I have really learned a lot of things, but at times this past week I have felt really inadequate because I have felt like I’ve lost some of my teaching skills or my ability to work effectively in the field because I have been worrying and working with financial things these past several months and not just on preaching the gospel even in the time we have had areas. I feel like I have a lot of pressure and expectations on my shoulders from president and leaders in the mission to come out of the office and be a strong leader in the mission with the time I have. I have always felt during my time here in the office like I have been cheated in my development of missionary skills because I have been here in the office, and when president talks of me as the district leader or being a leader in the mission when I leave the office, I just feel like I should know more, or be better in my ability to lead and help other missionaries than I presently am. I have been meditating more in why I was put in the office, and what I learned that the Lord wanted me to learn. I have come to the conclusion that I was put in the office by revelation, and even if I don’t completely understand why, the lord wanted me here to learn and to serve how and what he wanted me to serve and learn. I don’t think I am explaining this very well, but I just feel like I should express my gratitude for everything that I have learned in the office and that although I may not have developed or learned as much as I wanted to or could have learned in the field, I just have to trust in the lord and do my best to make the best of this next step of my mission leaving the office and working hard in my new responsibilities.
I don’t know if any of that made any sense, but it’s what I have been feeling. I have been so blessed in my life and in my mission. I am super excited for this Christmas season and to be able to spread the message of Christ’s birth and the good news of his gospel!!!!!!
I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week! Oh and by the way when President Amado came to the mission a couple weeks ago, he told President Ruiz to change our p-day here in the office so that we can work on Saturdays to invite people to church, so for the next few weeks that im still here in the office, my p-day is !
Heres the photo with Elder Amundsen, Elder Anderson and I and a christmas fun photo :)